Ecstasy is an illegal recreational drug, classed as a stimulant and psychedelic. People started taking the drug in the late eighties, often associated with house music, Ibiza and the rave scene. It’s usually taken in nightclubs or parties, but some people take it in other situations. Other standard terms for Ecstasy include MDMA, Molly, Pills, and Mitsubishis.


How is Ecstasy Taken?

Ecstasy is usually in pill form, and people take it by swallowing it whole or crushing and snorting it. MDMA is typically a powder; people put small amounts onto their gums. Ecstasy is often taken with other drugs and alcohol, increasing health risks.


How Long do the Effects Last?

Ecstasy usually kicks in after around 30 minutes of taking it, sometimes longer. Some people get impatient waiting for the drug to work, so they take more – which can lead to overdosing and becoming ill.

The effects last anything up to four hours. When the euphoric feelings wear off, users describe it as a ‘come-down’ as they feel depressed and anxious – sometimes lasting for days. People often miss sleep after taking Ecstasy, as the drug keeps them awake.


What are the Short-Term Effects of Ecstasy?

People often take Ecstasy because they want to feel euphoric or ‘loved up.’ The drug makes you feel very happy and gives the user more energy. Ecstasy makes people feel ’at one’ with their surroundings, whether with nature or in a nightclub.

Talkativeness and affection towards others are common side effects, and people report the drug helps them bond with others and open up emotionally.  Many people experience dilated pupils, a tingling feeling, a fast heartbeat, nausea, a raised body temperature, and jaw tightening (also called ‘gurning’) when they take Ecstasy.

Although users report many positive feelings, Ecstasy makes some people feel confused, paranoid and anxious. The effects of one pill can last anything up to four hours. When the euphoric feelings wear off, users describe it as a ‘come-down’ as they feel depressed and anxious – sometimes lasting up to a week. People often miss sleep after taking Ecstasy, as the drug keeps them awake. The person may experience short-term memory problems, reduced appetite and impulsiveness.

There is a risk of overheating and dehydration when taking Ecstasy and dancing, especially if it’s taken in a hot nightclub. Keeping hydrated is essential – roughly one pint of water (maximum) every hour. Drinking too much liquid is dangerous because the drug can stop your body from making urine. Too much liquid affects the body’s salt balance, and if it’s off-kilter, there’s a high risk of death.


What are the Long-Term Effects of Ecstasy?

Ecstasy can affect the liver, kidneys and heart, and if you have high blood pressure, a heart condition, epilepsy or asthma, you should avoid taking the drug, as it can cause dangerous reactions.

Long-term and regular Ecstasy use can make people anxious, paranoid and depressed. Some users report ongoing confused thoughts, hallucinations and psychosis, which is irreversible in some cases.

Because Ecstasy lowers people’s inhibitions, there’s an increasing possibility of sexual activity, and combined with that – risky sexual behaviour could lead to SIDS (sexually transmitted disease.)


Is Ecstasy Addictive?

There aren’t enough studies to indicate if Ecstasy is physically addictive, but the drug helps release Serotonin, a feel-good chemical in the body. Ecstasy users often develop a psychological reliance on the drug, craving how it makes them feel and taking it regularly.

Developing a substance use disorder such as Ecstasy is high if users are part of a nightclub or party scene. Users report that Ecstasy helps to heighten the enjoyment of music and social abilities, so it’s an appealing drug for party-goers.


Signs and Symptoms of Ecstasy Addiction

Like all drug addictions, an addiction to Ecstasy means that the user continues to take the drug even when they know it’s harmful to their physical and mental health. One of the most apparent signs of addiction is craving. With Ecstasy, the user wants to recreate the euphoric feelings they’ve experienced – and they continue to take it despite knowing they will have a ‘come down the next day.

Other symptoms include:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety, depression or paranoia
  • The person mixes with other Ecstasy users rather than their regular friendship group
  • Changes to sleep patterns. Either sleeping all day or staying awake all night.
  • Weight loss and gain
  • Relationship and family breakdown
  • Issues at work, financial problems and neglecting responsibilities
  • Stealing to help fund their addiction


Is it Possible to Overdose on Ecstasy?

Yes. Users often become impatient when taking Ecstasy, wanting the drug to work immediately. It can take up to thirty minutes, sometimes longer, for a tablet to work, so people sometimes take another pill, or a few, to speed up the process, increasing the risk of overdose.


How we can Help

Admitting you have an Ecstasy addiction isn’t easy, but the team at Asana Lodge can help you get drug-free. Asana Lodge is a private drug and alcohol rehab centre, and we’ve helped thousands of people break free of addiction.

We offer drug detox, intensive counselling and tailored treatment programmes to help many people live a drug-free life. Choosing private rehab means you’ll have 24-hour access to trained drug addiction specialists in a welcoming and calm environment.

People stay with us for anything from 28 days to three months, and we’ll suggest a suitable length of stay after we’ve assessed you.

Getting help is just a phone call away. Our admissions team are on hand night and day to answer any queries, and we will likely have a room waiting for you.

Our care continues when you leave our centre so you won’t be alone. We offer all patients a free aftercare package to help them when they need it most. Support groups, family therapy and a 24-hour helpline are available for a whole year to help you stay sober in the long term.

Ready to beat your Ecstasy addiction? Call us TODAY on 01908 489 421.




John Gillen - Author - Last Updated: 24 October 2022

John has travelled extensively around the world, culminating in 19 years’ experience looking at different models. He is the European pioneer of Nad+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) treatment to Europe in 2010; and recently back from the USA bringing state of the art Virtual Reality Relapse Prevention and stress reduction therapy. his passion extends to other metabolic disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases.

The journey continues, in recent times john has travelled to Russia to study and research into a new therapy photobiomudulation or systemic laser therapy working with Nad+ scientists and the very best of the medical profession in the UK and the USA, together with Nadcell, Bionad Clinics own select Doctors, nurses, dieticians and therapists, Johns’ passion continues to endeavour to bring to the UK and Europe new developments with Nad+ therapy in preventive and restorative medicine and Wellness. In 2017 John Gillen was made a visiting Professor at the John Naisbitt university in Belgrade Serbia.

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